Teardown reveals Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac is surprisingly upgradable

Posted June 12, 2017

That said, while the ability to upgrade is present, it's not necessarily easy to access, so Apple's official word on the matter would be that neither the CPU or RAM modules are user-replaceable. The 21.5-inch iMac from 2013 was the last model to sport expandable memory, while the last one with a modular CPU was in 2012.

The new iMacs look the same on the outside, but they received some more powerful parts on the inside.

Several years ago with older iMac iterations, Apple would sort of allow users to upgrade the RAM on their computers themselves thanks to a small removable panel on the back that gave them access to the computer's RAM.

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You can find out more details on what iFixit found inside the new 21.5 inch iMac over at their website at the link below.

Apple announced their new 2017 iMac range earlier this week and now the guys over at iFixit have taken apart the 21.5 inch model. If you're looking to make the investment and are also looking at Windows AIOs, then at least you know that it's possible to upgrade them somewhat, even if it might take some work.

Don't expect upgrades to be easy, however.

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Diving deeper into the machine, iFixit removed the heat sink and the warranty-voiding stickers to reach the CPU, discovering that the Kaby Lake processor is in a regular LGA 1151 socket. Compared to the previous generation, the iFixit team notes that internally, the logic board has expanded, a heat sink mounting plate has been added and the right speaker is now tucked away behind the logic board, making it initially inaccessible.

The company's products are notoriously hard to upgrade and Apple has always held tight control over all matters of hardware and software, so it's great to see that DIY upgrades are now on the table.

Apple introduced new iMac all-in-ones (AIOs) at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 event, marking the first time the line has received a refresh in quite a while. Despite the challenges, however, the possibility is now there - if you are willing to risk the warranty.

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If you're interested in learning more, head over to iFixit's breakdown.